Some important factors private investigators should consider when buying Professional Indemnity insurance

The following guide has been prepared to help investigators understand what to look for in a suitable professional indemnity product to protect your business interests.

It is important to stress that no insurance policy can insure against a bad contract or no contract therefore we would recommend taking professional advice to ensure having a suitable contract between yourself and your clients.

Some other considerations you may consider are:


Is my policy ‘Any one claim’ or ‘aggregated claim’ basis?

An aggregated claim based cover has a finite amount that your claims will pay out for.  This is dependant on the limits you set when you take out a policy. For example, if your level of cover is £250,000, your insurer will never pay out more than that, in total, for all claims and their associated legal costs in a year.
An any one claim policy for the same £250,000 level of cover will pay out a maximum of £250,000 for each claim, plus another £250,000 for each claim’s legal costs.

Therefore the cover provide by Any one claim is potentially much more than in the aggregate.

Kerry London’s policy covers Private Investigators for any one claim.


Am I covered for Civil liability or Negligence? What’s the difference?

The two main types of indemnity insurance are Civil Liability and Negligence, Errors and Omissions.  Civil liability wording – as is the Kerry London wording – is by far the most broad coverage.  Our  policy is arranged around Civil liability.

Negligence, Errors and Omissions: When indemnity wordings were first introduced, they were largely based on the concept of negligence.  With a negligence wording, you’re covered should a client make a claim against you for a negligent breach of professional duty.

Civil liability wording: Civil liability is broader than cover based on negligence, errors and omissions, in that negligence is not the only thing you’re covered against. Unless specifically excluded from your insurance, civil liability covers you for a host of other scenarios including the following areas:
defamation such as libel, slander and product disparagement;
privacy infringements such as public disclosure of private facts or trade secrets; and
copyright infringements such as trademark and intellectual property right disputes.


Does my policy protect me for the costs relating to prosecuting any infringement of my Intellectual Property  Rights ?

The Kerry London wording includes £250,000 for the cost of prosecuting any infringement of your intellectual property rights – e.g if you have undertaken any work and the client has used/acquired the IP of your work

This is including but not limited to infringement of copyright, trade mark, domain name, title or slogan or plagiarism.


Does my policy cover me for irrecoverable fees or costs where there is a dispute over the quality of work?

The Kerry London wording extends to cover investigators for this. 

This can be important, particularly if there is a dispute into the quality of the work.  Sometimes this can be driven by the results of your investigation not being what the client wanted! 

This may lead them to question your competence and therefore important that you are covered to avoid a greater loss.


Is Data Protection infringement covered?

Any private investigator who is given access to data to assist with their investigations is exposed to risk in relating to any infringements of this data.

An example of Data Protection infringement occurred when a group calling itself "The Impact Team" stole the user data of Ashley Madison, a commercial website billed as enabling extramarital affairs. The group copied personal information about the site's user base and threatened to release users' names and personally identifying information if Ashley Madison was not immediately shut down. On 18 and 20 August, the group leaked more than 25 gigabytes of company data, including user details. Because of the site's policy of not deleting users' personal information – including real names, home addresses, search history and credit card transaction records – many users feared being publicly shamed.


Does my policy cover libel slander and defamation?

The Kerry London policy wording covers libel slander and defamation. 

We have seen policies that cover investigators for unintentional defamation – when reporting,  either verbally or written, to a client your investigation findings it the subject is intentional – you do not do this by accident therefore require full cover on this in order to protect you.


Does my cover include Claims cost?

There are no additional costs involved in processing claims with the Kerry London wording other than the excesses agreed.  Some policies, however, will expect an additional contribution from the claimant to help process the claims.

If you would like us to review your insurances and provide you with a quotation please call Melissa Croxford on 020 8225 1054 or email